TeachersFirst's Memorial Day

Other TeachersFirst Special Topics Collections

Explore these resources for ideas you can use to connect classroom curriculum to Memorial Day. Whether you choose to focus on Memorial Day and its history for one class period or to include a special curriculum project in honor of veterans, these ideas and resources will get you started.

 

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Betty H. Carter Women Veterans Historical Project - University of North Carolina Greensboro

Grades
8 to 12
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century...more
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The unique viewpoints of U.S. women veterans are well represented in this rich archive of photographs, oral histories, diaries, scrapbooks, and artifacts from the nineteenth century to the present. The archive is particularly strong for women who served during World War II. It also includes World War I, Korea, Vietnam, The Cold War, Desert Storm, the Gulf Wars and the War on Terror. Search by date, branch of service, conflict, or by type of material, including over 350 oral histories.

tag(s): memorial day (13), oral history (12), primary sources (93), veterans (21), world war 1 (53), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use this archive for rich, authentic primary source material on the lives of women in the military. Consider having students, individually or in groups, choose a veteran and present her story to classmates. Use a tool like Zoho Show (similar to Powerpoint, but easier and free), reviewed here. Supplement classroom materials associated with a wartime era with the photographs, posters, and diaries provided here. Use these stories as part of a special focus for Veterans Day, Memorial Day, or Women's History Month. The archive would also be a particularly rich resource for students considering National History Day Projects.
 This resource requires PDF reader software like Adobe Acrobat.

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PBS Newshour Extra - PBS NewsHour Productions LLC

Grades
7 to 12
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students...more
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Find news and resources for grades 7-12 at PBS Newshour Extra. Search the site by Subject Area, Videos, Arts and Media, Science, and more. Explore news articles written for students with the background and context needed to understand complex topics. The Daily Videos are ad-free and have related stories along the right side of the page. Read the current events news stories and follow the Extra Twitter feed. Don't miss the many free lesson plans including current events, American history, health, government, holidays, and more. Lesson plans are all aligned to the Common Core standards. Lesson plan topics vary from "Personal reflections on the poetry of Maya Angelou" to "Selma to Montgomery: An introduction to the 1965 marches" and countless others! Look for the Student Voices and Student Reporting Labs for those who would like to be published or to help a local PBS station produce the news.
This site includes advertising.

tag(s): civil rights (121), elections (78), holocaust (39), memorial day (13), news (264), poetry (225), video (275), women (92)

In the Classroom

Watch the news together on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Allow students to watch independently on laptops or at a learning station. Use any video or article as a current events writing prompt. Challenge students to create blog posts about them. If you are beginning the process of integrating technology, have students create blogs sharing their learning and understanding using Pen.io, reviewed here. This blog creator requires no registration. Don't forget the many free lesson plans (already aligned to Common Core standards). Click on the Lesson Plans link to explore the countless topics available (Poetry, Veterans, Elections, Ebola, Civil Rights, and more). For articles and videos about conflicts and tension, you might want to have your students engage in a debate using a tool such as ProConIt, reviewed here. Keep your class up-to-date on the news using this site. Provide this link on your class website for students (and families) to access both in and out of your classroom.
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Celebrating America's Freedoms - Department of Veterans Affairs

Grades
4 to 8
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent...more
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This site explores the history behind many of America's most beloved customs and symbols. While the reading level is a bit challenging for younger students, the content is excellent for lesson-planning. Topics include flag etiquette, and the origins of Veterans' Day, our National Anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance.

tag(s): american flag (11), flag day (6), memorial day (13), national anthem (4), veterans (21)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities hosted on this site! This would be a great resource on a unit about patriotism, nationalism, or even Veterans day itself. Have students make an interactive book about a national symbol or holiday using Bookemon, reviewed here and share it with "little buddies" in a lower grade class.

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History of Memorial Day - History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There ...more
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Use this quick resource for a lesson, or even an organizing activity at the beginning or end of a class, related to Memorial Day or in recognition of veterans. There are several video clips, links to further information, and other resources. There is advertising, both at the beginning of the video clips, and in the margins.

tag(s): battles (19), holidays (151), memorial day (13), veterans (21)

In the Classroom

Use one of the videos on an interactive whiteboard or projector to deliver a quick lesson on the history of Memorial Day. There are also links to good content on military history, military leaders, and the various physical memorial sites that honor US military veterans.
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Dogs Serving Veterans - New York Times

Grades
3 to 12
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have ...more
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This site offers a great starting point for class discussions of Veterans Day. It is an eight slide show about service dogs and how they are helping veterans who have been disabled and as a way to dealing with stress. Each slide focuses on a veteran and his/her service dog and how the dog has enriched their daily life.

tag(s): disabilities (21), memorial day (13), veterans (21)

In the Classroom

Use this site on a projector or interactive whiteboard to discuss and informally assess prior knowledge as you study Veterans Day, the effects of war, or people with disabilities. Ask students to discuss a time when they have seen service animals and how they have been used to help someone. Discuss the information on the site and locate the countries where the veterans served on a map to help students understand what it means to go to war. Ask students to choose one slide and write a story based on what they see in the image. If your school is looking for a schoolwide service project, consider raising funds for service dogs.
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America: The Story of Us - History Channel

Grades
6 to 12
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The History Channel's newest addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 ...more
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The History Channel's newest addition to the broad, sweeping genre of American history series is America: The Story of Us (don't miss the play on words: Us/US), airing over 12 hours, two episodes at a time. Each episode is about 45 minutes in length. Website copy is added as the episodes air. At the time of this review there were brief episode guides, video clips from episodes, a PDF version of a classroom study guide that can be downloaded for free, links to download episodes on itunes (for a FEE), classroom contests, and a number of other promotional links. You can also order the entire series on DVD, which will be available after the entire series as premiered. Some historians will turn up their noses as the History Channel attempts to cover the history of the United States in 12 hours, including commercials. Important issues will be missed, historic players will be overlooked, and complex topics will be over-simplified. However, it is precisely this sort of effort that can hook kids who aren't ordinarily interested in history in taking a second look.

tag(s): civil war (144), evolution (102), great depression (26), lincoln (86), memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

The History Channel is providing a lot of support for teachers who might want to assign watching the series as extra credit or enrichment, as well as those who can use video clips for lesson introductions or reinforcement. Share the relevant video clips on your interactive whiteboard or projector. Or have cooperative learning groups each view individual videos and create multimedia presentations about their topic. How about creating an interactive online brochure highlighting the important facts learned from the video? Use a site such as Sway, reviewed here for this. At the very least, the teachers' study guide will provide you with some new ideas or resources!
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Memorial Day - May 30th - Myvocabulary.com

Grades
4 to 12
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using...more
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Explore vocabulary and word activities related to Memorial Day on this extensive site for vocabulary, roots, and more. Find interactive vocabulary activities the same list of using Memorial Day vocabulary words. There are printable crosswords, fill in the blanks and more, all using the same theme words. This and other "themes" available on the site will make vocabulary development fun.

tag(s): holidays (151), memorial day (13), vocabulary (325)

In the Classroom

Have students work in cooperative learning groups, divide up the vocabulary words, and have each group responsible to find the definitions for their assigned vocabulary words. Have the groups share their words and definitions in an online book, using a tool such as Bookemon (reviewed here). Have the groups share the online books on your interactive whiteboard or projector. And of course, don't miss the interactive word puzzles!

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Patriotic Songs - National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences

Grades
K to 8
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Need lyrics to your favorite patriotic song? Find a wealth of patriotic lyrics here with a quick click. . Play the instrumental audio file, as well. Find Yankee Doodle, Navy ...more
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Need lyrics to your favorite patriotic song? Find a wealth of patriotic lyrics here with a quick click. . Play the instrumental audio file, as well. Find Yankee Doodle, Navy Hymn, America the Beautiful, and about twenty other patriotic songs.

Note: Please assume that most songs are copyrighted, so please honor the authors and musicians by not distributing these songs. This is intended for classroom use only. This site requires Quicktime and Adobe Acrobat. You can get both from the TeachersFirst Toolbox page.

tag(s): lyrics (20), memorial day (13), presidents (132), songs (53)

In the Classroom

Enhance your reading program with music. Have students listen to the songs while following the lyrics. Keep this site handy for those patriotic holidays. Use this site in social studies classes to learn the meaning behind some of the most popular patriotic songs. Play the sound in the background during class skits for Presidents' Day or other patriotic occasions.
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Memorial Day Activities - David Merchant

Grades
3 to 8
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a...more
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This nice collection of activities and puzzles - some printable and some interactive - teaches and reinforces the history and meaning behind Memorial Day celebrations. Choose from a variety of formats and difficulty levels.

tag(s): holidays (151), memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities on this site! There are also some practice quizzes and puzzles that would be fun ways to assess students, or have them use the tools to help review the content.

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War Letters - PBS

Grades
9 to 12
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Teach American history through the words of those who were there. This fascinating site focuses on personal narratives from man and women who captured the horror, sadness, and intensity...more
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Teach American history through the words of those who were there. This fascinating site focuses on personal narratives from man and women who captured the horror, sadness, and intensity of war. Experiences from the American Revolution to the Persian Gulf War are reflected in featured letters. Although this site is designed around a companion PBS special, much can be learned from the on-line materials without viewing the program. Visit the Teacher's Guide for suggestions on using personal narratives in history class. Other features include a gallery of wartime cartoons, an interactive timeline (1775-1994), and a military postal history trivia game.

tag(s): memorial day (13)

In the Classroom

History, Civics, Economics and Geography teachers will love the free lesson plans and activities offered in the "Teacher Guide" section. Beyond that the site also offers games and movie clips that would help make the site a useful lecture supplement or learning center.

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Teach Vietnam - The Learning Experience - Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund

Grades
6 to 12
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Created by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, the full title of this site is "Echoes From The Wall: History, Learning and Leadership through the Lens of The Vietnam War Era." ...more
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Created by the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Fund, the full title of this site is "Echoes From The Wall: History, Learning and Leadership through the Lens of The Vietnam War Era." The approaches the Vietnam War era with a focus on history, leadership, citizenship, and civic responsibility. The site has good primary source research materials and an interactive timeline, as well as a detailed teacher's guide with teaching modules.

tag(s): 1960s (29), memorial day (13), vietnam (36)

In the Classroom

Take advantage of the free lesson plans and activities offered on this site! All are related back to standards of learning, and provide great resources for teachers who need to cover the Vietnam War. Save the site as a favorite on your classroom computer and refer to it when in need of fresh ideas.

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Experiencing War - Library of Congress

Grades
6 to 12
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as...more
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No, it's not blood and gore up close, but rather a collection of audio reminiscences from American veterans about their experiences in wartime. Created by the Library of Congress as part of their American Folklife series, these stories are surprisingly personal and therefore all the more powerful. A faster connection improves performance.

tag(s): korea (15), memorial day (13), veterans (21), world war 2 (142)

In the Classroom

Use the audio interviews over the interactive whiteboard to show students what the war was like from the perspective of people on the ground, and the difference between the first hand account and the textbook. This is a great way to not only teach the content, but display for students the difference between a primary and secondary source. To further argue a point, use a Venn diagram on the interactive whiteboard to graphically display the differences. Use an online tool such as Interactive Two Circle Venn Diagram (reviewed here).
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